Niantic quietly rolls out a Pokemon GO tweak, causing the Pokedex to record encounters with Pokemon in Gyms in addition to the existing wild Pokemon encounters.
Although Niantic generally announces major updates it rolls out for Pokemon GO in advance, sometimes surprise changes are enacted in the background, waiting to be discovered by players. One such tweak has now arrived, changing how the Pokedex works with regards to Pokemon Gyms.
Gamers noticed today that a change has been made to Pokemon GO, altering how Pokemon sightings in the Pokedex are recorded. Any Pokemon seen at Pokemon Gyms will now qualify as sightings in the Pokedex, filling in the Pokemon's silhouette and adding a single sighting listing to the Pokedex. Formerly, only Pokemon spotted in the wild would qualify as a sighting in the Pokedex.
Reactions to this change have been mixed, with some players praising it and others being disappointed. Some gamers held their caught to sightings ratio in high regard, which could potentially now be undone by seeing specific Pokemon for the first time in Gyms that cannot be caught. However, many players of the core Pokemon series were quick to point out that the Pokedex has always recorded sightings of new Pokemon in Gyms and trainer battles in the original games, so it only makes sense for Niantic to implement this change in its mobile take on the long-running Pokemon series.
Although this is a minor change that doesn't massively alter the way the game is played, more significant updates are on the horizon. Niantic previously revealed that Gym battles would be changed to allow members of the same team to more easily participate in strengthening their team's Pokemon Gym. In addition, it will be easier for players to catch rare Pokemon if they have already caught a number of more common Pokemon of the same type. However, trainer battles and Pokemon GO trading still don't have an expected release window.
Although it's a minor detail, Niantic's change might lead some gamers to wonder why Pokemon seen at Gyms weren't included in the sightings to begin with. Without an official statement, there's no way to know for sure, but chances are it was simply an oversight on Niantic's part, as the developer may have been focused more on the big picture of creating a Pokemon mobile game. Now that Pokemon GO has been launched nearly everywhere, Niantic may be moving its focus to making its mobile game more similar to the traditional Pokemon series, which could be good for players. The developer has already promised that more generations of Pokemon are coming to Pokemon GO, so perhaps changing the way the Pokedex works is paving the way for making that change possible.
Pokemon GO is out now for Android and iOS devices.